Sometimes, you just need to take a day off to escape the day to day grind. I did that today to spend some time with Rick on his last day off for Spring Break. I'm glad I did it. Sure, we had to get up to take the birds to the vet for their annual checkup. They got a clean bill of health, and wing and nail trims too, by the way (check out their take on it over at Conure Corner
). But after that, it was free time. Nothing major really - we went to Olive Garden for lunch, bought the birds some "consolation toys" and other supplies, and took a walk on Riverfront Park. But sometimes, it's good to have a slow day. I forgot what it was like to be bored. It's a feeling I don't often have.
You can see pictures from our walk along the Riverfront Park in Columbia, SC on Flickr
. That is a nifty website. I've really enjoyed it since creating the account during our trip to Arizona last month. I've never been one that was big on pictures, but between getting an iPhone and creating that account, I find myself taking more of them. It's easy to take them on the phone, and to organize them through the website. Everybody can be a photographer these days. Well, not everybody. Truthfully, I get lucky every now and then and get a really good shot but otherwise, my pictures are okay. The delete button makes me look better at it than I really am.
Anyway, it was good to have a Friday off to slow down the pace. Holidays and vacations are nice, but sometimes you need to have a "time out" to just be at home and exist.
That's all today. Happy Friday to you. Have a great weekend.
What is holiday detox, you ask? Well readers, it's that period immediately following Christmas when you're so tired and burned out that you can't motivate yourself to do anything. The house is a mess and you don't care. The "to do" list is growing, and you say to hell with it. You're worn out from celebrating with all the family, food, fun, presents, and to do of the holidays and you want to hibernate in bed for, oh, the rest of the winter to recover.
Be honest, who's there? Has anybody else had a wee bit of a problem motivating themselves to do things they don't want to do?
I know I am. I'm Christmased out. The holidays are nice, but it's time for them to move along out of here. I fully believe that the days between Christmas and New Year's Day are a time when the world needs to back off and let us be lazy, just for a little while. We need some time to ourselves before we get back to the grind. We need a break to rest and recuperate from the heavy activity of the holidays. We need to drop out for a while and tend to our own wants and needs. And that's not a bad thing. In fact, we probably need it more often than just post-holidays. We need to take time to ourselves regularly. If we work ourselves to death, we'll eventually break down and then we won't be good to anybody.
I think that's one good resolution to make for the new year - to take more time out for yourself. I know a lot of people would say that's selfish and rude, but I'd counter that those accusers aren't truly in touch with themselves and need to take this opportunity to get in balance themselves. (Or they're selfish jerks that think everybody in the world should be their handservant and their attitude needs correcting - but that's one for another entry.) If there's one truth I've seen this holiday season, it's that the world isn't going to give you a break. It will work you to death and wear you down to nothing. It's our responsibility to keep life in balance, and to work things out for the best. We have to be aware of what's going on and what we have, and to stay alert and in balance. To do that, it's necessary for us to say "no" to the demands of the world every now and then and tend to our personal needs. The best way to do that is to take regular time outs. And the world won't give them to us, so we have to take them. I say resolution #1 is to take what we need to be our best, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Block out time to yourself that's not open to anybody. Setting boundaries isn't wrong. In fact, it's the only way to achieve confidence and to have balance in your life.
So go ahead and take a break - God knows, you need it. And make that a habit in the future, while you're at it. ;)
That's all today. I hope you have a great week.
I've been reading a great deal lately where people say that writer's block is a myth. Our muse doesn't get blocked, they say. We're just making excuses to not writer.
To them I say that if this is true, then "burnout" is also a myth. Think about it - if you apply this logic to every other area of life, then it logically follows that you don't get burned out on work; you simply get lazy and don't want to work anymore.
Now how does that arguement sound? Extreme, right? Well, I'll go to the other extreme and say that if a writer hasn't experienced writer's block, then I wonder if they're really writers. Because frankly, there's a difference between crafting a piece that is truly researched and developed and pounding out whatever random crap runs through your brain. If you want your work to be published and well received by readers, then you must invest in it by putting the time, thought and effort into it to make it the best piece it can be. That doesn't happen overnight and frankly, it can be a daunting task.
I know I sound peevish, but I've been writing for nearly 11 years and it makes me angry for people to "assume" that I get writer's block occasionally because I'm lazy. First of all, you don't stick with something for this long if your lazy. Second, you won't survive in the writing world in you're lazy because you'll drown in the flood of others that are willing to work at it and put their best work forward to get a break.
Writer's block does exist, and it's not laziness. Rather, I return to my previous statement of comparing it to burnout. I believe it's a natural tendency for us to get stuck in ruts and to show us that we need to break out of the same old same old to refresh ourselves and feed our muse. It's a sign that we need to slow down, relax, and experience life in order to refresh our creativity. Tapping that same old well over and over again is only going to drain it dry. We need to replenish it in order to keep turning out fresh work. We need to look around and find new ideas instead of pounding the same old ones, over and over. We need to stretch, grow and learn. And yes, sometimes it means we do need to take a break and live a little. A writer without a life isn't much of a writer. You need to live your life and fully experience it in order to keep the creativity flowing.
So yes, writer's block is just as real as burnout. And if you don't believe me, I challenge you to cancel your vacations this year and don't take a day of leave for the next 365 days. Then tell me what's real.
That's all for today.
Hi folks, I'm taking a break from the holiday blog series to share a story with you that's so odd, it has to be true. Because you just can't make this stuff up. I now have the best excuse for missing church yet.
My alarm clock burned to death.
Yep, you heard me right. We woke up around 1AM (that's what time Rick said it was) to smell something burning. It didn't take long to figure it was electrical, and in the room right with us. A few minutes of shaking off grogginess while we looked, and we finally figured it was RIGHT BESIDE ME! The clock was out and ROASTING! Something in there was definitely frying. I yanked the back up battery out and Rick ran down the stairs and put it out on the front porch.
Such oddities seem to only happen to me.
I don't know why, but alarm clocks seem to break on me every 6-7 years. It's been a lifelong plague. Rick's been using the same alarm clock since college, and Mom and Dad have been using Granddaddy's old alarm clock (he died 22 years ago!).
I even tried getting a very basic one that only had the time and a buzzer. Dang if that one didn't eventually go on the fritz with me too. Maybe it's God's way of reminding me that I'm living a lie. I'm a night owl living in a morning-glory world.
I don't know, but that story was so odd, that I just had to share it. I mean, who else does this happen to?
And by the way, I did buy a new alarm clock today. I thought I could get a basic one for cheap, but we found a small iHome setup that would dock and charge my iPod Touch that was only $2 more than the cheapest clock they had. Well why not? I figured. So I got it. Good grief, I'm almost scared. Of all the songs on my iPod, it will probably pick the heaviest thing on there. It'll go off to Slipknot's "Wait and Bleed" at 5:45 a.m. and I'll go through the roof. And not remember how to shut the dang thing off because the shut off button is so small and I'm horribly uncoordinated first thing in the morning. No doubt, I'll wake up to an adventure tomorrow.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why this is is called Into the Rabbit Hole. You wouldn't be surprised to find a chester cat having a unbirthday party here now, would you?
Take care and I hope you have a great start to the new week. The blog series will resume soon. Next up is the ultimate debate: Gift cards - Great Gift or Cop Out?
Well, this is unusual for my busy lifestyle. For the first time in a long time, I'm caught up! The house is clean, the chores and errands are done, everything is in motion with both books, and things with the church committees and work are where they're supposed to be. Both families are ok. Sweet!
I do believe this calls for a much needed break. Yes, a lazy Saturday is in order indeed.
Happy Friday to you all and I hope you have a great weekend.